Nimrod Shapira-Bar Or came in first in the the 200m freestyle qualifying match with a with a 1:47.78m time, becoming the first Israeli swimmer to advance to the semi-finals.
"I'm more than happy. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was not sent here for nothing," said Shapira Bar-Or, who was the last Israeli to join the Israeli team of 43 members.
Shapira Bar-Or celebrates (Photo: AP)
Guy Barnea was next to jump into the pool, duplicating Shapira Bar-Or's achievement with a new Israeli record, and advancing to the semi-finals in the 100m backstroke category. Barnea came in 15ht overall with a 54.50 second time.
Anya Gostmelsky finished 25th overall, setting a new Israeli record with a 1:01.87m time in the 100m backstroke category, but failed to advance to the next stage.
On Saturday, Gostmelsky finished 36th in the women's 100m butterfly at 59.50 seconds, also improving her personal best.
"It's crazy to be disappointed by a personal record at the age of 27, but that's what happened yesterday," she said after setting the new national record. "I was tense before first jumping into the water. This time I managed to sleep and rest in the afternoon, and it was excellent."
Gostmelsky will next compete in the women's 100m and 50m freestyle categories, in a bid to advance to her first Olympic semi-finals. But she is already satisfied with her results.
"After yesterday it was already better than the 2004 Athens Olympics," she said. "I reached the best result ever, and that's the most important thing."